Published: 2010 – ILEIA,
Amersfoort, the Netherlands
Authors: Mundie Salm
Module 3 describes different aspects of small-scale cropping systems, with particular attention to mixed cropping practices. It describes recent advances in the development of crop biotechnologies, such as genetic engineering and formal seed systems, which have had a tremendous impact on cropping practices around the world. How can small-scale farmers maintain their diversity-based cropping systems what with the opportunities and limitations these kinds of changes bring up?
This module provides some insights into how small-scale cropping systems can be intensified in ways that take on an ecosystems approach, such as that of Integrated pest management (or IPM). It also looks beyond farmers' practices by analysing governance issues that affect small-scale farmers around the world. Issues discussed include intellectual property rights over plant varieties, and the importance of including small-scale farmers in land-use planning and setting priorities in the development of plant genetic resources.
Throughout the module, links are made to a variety of educational resources, including games and exercises, articles, videos, photos and ideas for field visits, in order to stimulate discussions and reflection on cropping systems in small-scale farming.